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Miles Davis
"Live At The Fillmore East
(March 7, 1970)"

© Columbia/Legacy Records

January 05 - 11, 2020

Year of Release: 2001
Disc One:
  • Directions
  • Spanish Key
  • Masqualero
  • It's About That Time/The Theme
    Disc Two:
  • Directions
  • Miles Runs The Voodoo Down
  • Bitches Brew
  • Spanish Key
  • It's About That Time/Willie Nelson

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    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    The Great, Lost Miles Davis Group has at last been found, and it's about (that) time! In 1970, the ever-innovative trumpeter-bamdleader (1926-1991) was playing to audiences younger and larger than ever before. In clubs, jazz and rock concert venues, psychedelic ballrooms and open-air festivals. Fronting a quintet (or, as in the case on these nine previously unreleased selections, a sextet), Davis was, to a great extent, performing some of the open-ended jazz/rock/funk jams introduced on Bitches Brew, the breakthrough two LP set concocted in August 1969, just days after the musical events at the Woodstock rock festival changed the cultural landscape. But as in-demand as this edition of the Davis band was, they were not recorded nearly enough.

    Miles Davis Live At The Fllmore East (March 7, 1970) is, in fact, the first offical release by this now-legendary unit. The individual and collective brillance of the rhythm section of Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette (keyboards, basses and drums, respectively) assured a swing-to-funk transition not only smooth but relentlessly and rockingly forward-looking, and Brazil's Airto Moreira added a wealth of percussive colors. David, a noted sports car ehthusiast, drives his band like a new Farrari, displaying a muscurlarity and aggressiveness heretofore unknown to most of his fans.

    These scorching sets from a Saturday night at the storied rock concert venue on New York's Lower East Side found the group opening for the Steve Miller Blues Band and Neil Young And Crazy Horse. They were recorded a month before Bitches Brew unleashed and, as you'll hear, the rock-raised audience's response is generally mild, even bewildered. They didn't know what they were missing. Neither did the rest of us.
    -- from the liner notes of Live At The Fillmore East (March 7, 1970)

    Miles Davis and his group were the opening act? Interesting read above, as those who attended the concert probably didn't expect what they would hear. That is, a future in the making, with regards to that of Jazz music. Miles, along with his group, performed what would be called "Jazz Fusion." A sound of Jazz, mixed with funk, performed in an action-packed sound, fast and what would be furious, at that time, March 7, 1970.

    Released in 2001, the first and second sets was released. And as I listen to this entire album, it is just amazing that this was actually recorded live. With it's action-packed, non-stop playing on most of the tracks -- This was also ahead of its time, in 1970, for the audience, as they were probably expecting an opening act like the blues, as in Steve Miller, and the rock music, as in Neil Young and his band, Crazy Horse. No -- a huge difference, as this music became ahead of its time. And for those who followed Miles Davis' music, in looking back, it really wasn't a surprise. Miles Davis broke many barriers in his definition of Jazz music. He was unique in his own right, and put his own touches of his Jazz music into his own. Miles Davis was a genius. And rightfully so, this Fillmore East concert proved it.

    Live At The Fillmore East (March 7, 1970) was a 2-disc set, in which the band's first and second performances were on separate discs. Most of the songs were the same on both discs, but they were different, in their own rights, and sound.

    First Set (disc 1): "Directions" -- Wow, what a title, as Miles Davis' band was creating this own "direction" is jazz. Jazz Fusion, fast, action-packed. And as mentioned, this was live. This must have been a sight to see, listen, and watch. (As I listen to this track, Frank Zappa comes to mind, as he also, recorded his own brand of Jazz Fusion in his live concerts. Again, another sight to see, listen, and watch, as Zappa, like Miles, was truly another genius at work.) "Spanish Key" is "boogie'in," as it turns into yet another action-pack'er, like "Directions." "Masqualaro" continues the action, and eventually slows the pace down, leading into the next track, "It's About That Time/The Theme." Towards it's end, it slows down again ("Its About That Time", and then becomes quite mysterious in sound ("The Theme"). You hear the crowd applause at the end of this medley, and an announcer, telling the audience the name of the band they have just watched. The audience's applause is not as extravagant and/or energetic as they would have seen a more well-known band or artist (Steve Miller/Neil Young), but the applause is good, and for those in the audience, they have just witnessed what would become. Miles Davis' group, showcasing the future of jazz as it was, back in 1970. A promising and futuristic new journey in sound, and in jazz.

    Second disc (disc 2) has three songs from the first; The first, "Directions" is more experimental than from the first set, yet it's action-packed jazz fusion, just as the first set. "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" combines Blues and Jazz. The bass guitar sets the pace for its Blues style. "Bitches Brew" (which would the title of Miles Davis' latest album at the time), is a great experimental piece in Jazz, and again as mentioned, this must have been a thrill, to watch it all live. The second song, as was in the first set: "Spanish Key" is another action-pack'er in jazz fusion, just as from the first set. The third song, as was in the first set: "It's About That Time/Willie Nelson" -- just as from the first set, starting out slow, and turning into the fast-paced, action-packed jazz fusion "It's About That Time.") Towards the end of this track, electronic music, and especially the electronic keyboards. ("Willie Nelson" ? You would think it would be a Country'ish into Jazz, with Willie Nelson being the famous Country artist.)

    A very inspirational, experimental, and futuristic performance from Miles Davis, and his group, in 1970. He was a genius, a perfectionist. He had always broadened his horizons, with Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Be-Bop Jazz. His performances were overwhelming. Listening to these performances from the Fillmore East, proved that. Miles Davis left us, at the age of 65, in 1991. But he left behind great music to enjoy, and admire how great he really was. More of his albums will be reviewed here, as he would always show us how music meant to him. To admire, respect, and recognize Miles Davis. The musician. The Genius.

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